Reading this book is probably fine -- but why not listen to Bill Maher make Bill Maher's comments? Nobody can adequately approximate his tone of voice when reading. Listening to this was a real pleasure
I had quite a bit of trouble with the character of Nate. He believes in his own superior intelligence, but he's shallow, he's superficial, and he's unaware of his own feelings. He doesn't know what he wants in a woman. One of the passages that really annoyed me was when he fixated on the loose flesh under his girlfriend's arms. The same girlfriend who he earlier described as "almost too thin" is suddenly not working hard enough at Pilates and he is repulsed by her to a degree that's beyond comprehension. I'm sure my mouth hung open in disbelief while I listened to this portion of the book.
I was frustrated by Nate because I kept wondering, "do men really think this way?" Certainly his actions were familiar to those I'd encountered in my dating life. While dating one woman he became more and more critical and she tried harder and harder to please him, which resulted in him feeling contempt for her. This book may be written by a woman, but I have to believe that she has some insight into the mind of shallow, rude men. I only kept listening to see if Nate got his comeuppance.
The performance of Nick Podehl didn't help matters. Several times the inflection he used for a character's voice didn't match the description of the tone that the character was supposed to have used. (Which made me wonder about the direction and the editing as well) Worst of all, he doesn't know how to voice female characters. All his female characters sounded like stereotypically bitchy, lisping gay men instead of women, and the voice for a particular character wasn't consistent throughout the read. I can't recommend the audio version of this book for that reason alone.
The only reason I rated the overall as four stars instead of five is because this version is abridged. I'm not sure why some sentences and even whole paragraphs were omitted; but I found it distracting.
We all know that Dylan can write lyrics. Now we know he can write prose. This remarkable account of a few selected chapters in his life is absolutely enthralling; revealing more about Dylan than many of us had known before. He's well-known for being cryptic (at the very least) during interview; here he's pretty forthcoming.
I found it very affecting to read how he tried to protect his family and his family life at a time when the public and media were calling for him to come forward as a leader in the cultural wars. He was appalled every time he was reproached for not being what other people wanted him to be. People protested outside his house because of his 'failure' to lead them. There were break-ins. (When I was listening to this, I thought of John Lennon, who was so accommodating to his fans and what finally happened to him....) Dylan just wanted to have his family left alone.
I wonder how Dylan feels now as the same titles are ascribed to him: Voice of His Generation, a towering figure in American culture and a global twentieth-century icon, writer of protest songs and anthems of social movements. From now on, I'll think of him as he once described himself: A song and dance man.
Sean Penn's voice is perfect for this book. If Dylan doesn't narrate his own book, I can't think of anybody better than Penn.
This audiobook was among the best I've listened to. The voice and performance went well with the story being told.
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